(Found) Joe and Ivan are self-aware tanks but I can't remember the title.

Kipsley

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Please help. I'm in my 50s and fondly remembering the books I loved as a girl. One of them (read it in the 80s) was a sci-fi paperback about two self-aware tanks, one named Joe (the American tank) and the other named Ivan (the Russian tank). I can even remember the cover. It had the two tanks nose to nose. Ivan was big, beatle-like, and dark grey. Joe was similar in design but was more a khaki colour.
Part of the story tells how each tank (the last of each) had been circling the other for hours from many kilometres, often getting the other in their sights only to not fire, circling closer and closer till eventually...... they sit nose to nose, each without having fired. Part of the story goes on the describe how at times these two tanks would have a need of something, oils or parts, and they would trade their services to local farmers by (for instance) plowing their fields by firing their guns and creating furrows. I believe that in the story the farmers referred to the tanks as Raveners.
Would love to read it again, but what was the book called? and who wrote it? It's not a Keith Laumer Bolo title.
 
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psychotick

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Hi,

The self aware tanks are called bolos and there were lots of stories about them. I vaguely remember one similar to the one you mentioned. The author - originally - was Keith Laumer. But others have run with the idea since.

Cheers, Greg.
 

BAYLOR

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Hi,

The self aware tanks are called bolos and there were lots of stories about them. I vaguely remember one similar to the one you mentioned. The author - originally - was Keith Laumer. But others have run with the idea since.

Cheers, Greg.
Keith Laumer Created the Bolo . There are number stories and 2 r three novels by him about them. There are constinuation stories by other authors. David Weber, David Drake , Mercedes Lackey and William Keith.
 

Parson

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This actually does not sound like one of the bolo stories to me. They were far future S.F. In K. L.'s original series they were "old" tech. I never ran across one that were "American" or "Russian." --- If that's a true memory.
 

BAYLOR

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This actually does not sound like one of the bolo stories to me. They were far future S.F. In K. L.'s original series they were "old" tech. I never ran across one that were "American" or "Russian." --- If that's a true memory.
And they were terrific stories. :cool:
 

Kipsley

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The book was definitely not a "Bolo" book. Bolo tanks were manned or were pure AI operated. Ivan and Joe are described as having the "brains" of people, specialists in their fields incorporated into them. Joe had five human brains and one was the brain of a poet (I remember that bit). I believe Ivan had three brains, the brains of great Russian tactical men. Joe was definitely American and Ivan Russian. Both were the last remaining tanks of the war and so were reluctant to shoot the other and thus be alone without purpose. Passages in the book related that these tanks could take massive amounts of damage and still function. The book is set after the war. Everything was pretty much destroyed and Joe and Ivan are relics of a bygone age. Now they trade with locals to get oils and lubricants for themselves and use their weapons of war for good. Wish I could remember the entire plot but it escapes me.
 

Bick

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No I'm not sure you have.

The cover of that edition has little to do with the Cemetery World plot as I recall. It's not uncommon for art work designed for one book to be used on another unrelated book. I think this is the unrelated book, not the one you read.
 
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Dave

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If it helps, then the artist was Chris Moore b. 1947. That edition of Cemetery World was published in the UK in 1977. Using an image search I cannot find any other books mentioned in connection with that artwork. That doesn't mean there isn't, I just can't find any put online.

Full cover , front and back here:
 

psychotick

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Hi Guys,

I'm going to stick with the bolos, partly because I'm sure I remember the story in the OP and partly because the plot described fits with so many of the bolo stories - sentient tanks trying to do the right thing even when it goes counter to their orders. Also a quick check of the bolo universe says that the first Mark I bolo rolled off the line in the year 2000 (I must have been asleep that day!) But happy to be proven wrong.

Cheers, Greg.
 

hitmouse

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Definitely not Cemetary World, a book worth reading in its own right.
 

Hugh

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Yes, it's definitely Cemetery World. I'm looking at it right now. They're called Joe and Ivan, and are also referred to as Raveners, and there is the issue of lubricant. I think the reservations expressed above may be because there is much more to the book than these two war machines, which could almost be said to be a subplot rather than the main story. But then it's always curious what sticks in one's mind over the years.

Enjoy the re-read! Simak is unique.
 
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Bick

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Yes, it's definitely Cemetery World. I'm looking at it right now. They're called Joe and Ivan, and are also referred to as Raveners, and there is the issue of lubricant. I think the reservations expressed above may be because there is much more to the book than these two war machines, which could almost be said to be a subplot rather than the main story. But then it's always curious what sticks in one's mind over the years.
Okay, the book certainly isn’t about the tanks; I didn’t even recall them.
 

psychotick

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Hi,

Well must buy a hat to eat!!! And the worst of it is that not only have I read Cemetary world but I own a copy! And I don't remember a thing about tanks in it! So what goes well with roast hat?

Cheers, Greg.
 

Dave

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Our memories can be faulty. When we remember something our mind recalls the previous time we remembered the thing rather than the original. Anyone discovering old diaries can tell you that. So, we have certainly had queries before where someone has conflated two books into one. However, when the OP of the thread says it specifically isn't "this" thing, and then says that "this" is the actual book cover they remember, well, I don't see how that can really be disputed?

Another book found. Good job! Well done to everyone concerned that racked their brains over it. (y)
 
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